Q: Does the lid lock?
Answer: No! We will not sell a cream can with a locking lid. We have heard too many horror stories of people opening a can with a locking lid and ending up with a steaming hot volcano of food spewing out. In our opinion that is just too dangerous. Our lids have a compression fit, meaning you can pull them out. They fit snug and will build up a little pressure which speeds up cooking time but the long and short of it is that you are steaming, not pressure cooking.
Q: How much steam should we see?
Answer: It doesn’t have to steam “hard” like a locomotive of yesteryear, just nice tufts of steam. Too much pressure and you will pop off the lid, which will be caught by the safety chain. Unless you are steaming too hard, you shouldn’t have to worry about that, but never have any body parts over a can while cooking and always allow a few minutes for any pressure to subside before you remove the lid.
Q: Do I have to cook a full can?
Answer: Nope! Just scale down the recipe accordingly (except for the liquid) and cook the same as you would for a full can, about 40 minutes after you see steam. It will just reach steaming stage sooner with less food in the can.
Q: Do I have to use beer for the liquid?
Answer: Certainly not but we have done a lot of these and find that it does add flavor and all the alcohol steams off anyway. We have made them with water and they are still great. We have also heard of people steaming with wine or broth instead of beer.
Q: Where can I get the stainless steel rings we see in the video?
Answer: We no longer have those as they proved to be a bit tedious to get back out of the food, but we have found a better alternative! The rings used on canning jars. You can find them easily and they “fish” out easier when you dump your cream can. They also clean up fine in the dishwasher so you can use them over and over. Another great alternative is stainless steel cookie cutters if you have some or can find them. For the 2 1/2 and 5 1/4 gallon cans we have also found a telescoping foldable stainless steel vegetable steaming basket works well. Of course you can also do it the way folks (even us) used too, use rocks! Cleaned and sterilized, of course.
Q: Can I cook other things in the can?
Answer: No doubt about it, but we think the cream can supper recipe that comes with the can (scaled to the size can you purchase) is about as good as it gets. Now, for people who say they don’t like sausage, brats, etc. we say, you haven’t had a cream can supper! The sausage is also the “magic” in what flavors all those veggies!
We have heard of folks making seafood, crab boils, low country boils, etc. in them, but that is not our area of expertise so we only provide the basic cream can supper recipe, but we’re sure you’ll find lots of uses for it! (By the way our 2 1/2 gallon can DOES come with an additional recipe because we have perfected another one just for that size can! Great prime rib slices made from seasoned ribeye steaks and steamed to make great prime rib in less than 15 minutes!)